Pannier Planning – It’s in the detail…

A few weeks ago, I discussed and weighed up the type of detailing I would be adding to my models. Since then I’ve been doing further research into the class (57XX and 8750) and have a better idea of what details I wish to incorporate.


Although a basic tank engine, there are a number of details worth observing. ©Adam Williams, licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Bachmann model is reasonably detailed, but is lacking in a number of areas. This isn’t so much an issue, as it just means a spot of modelling…and will certainly personalise my fleet.



Bachmann’s 57XX/8750, a decent model but lacks detail.

Below is a list of my planned modifications.

1. Lamp Irons – I had originally ordered some Frogmore Irons, however I’ve now ordered some alternative irons from Masokits.

2. Working Screw Link Couplings – Courtesy of Masokits

3. Separately fitted Smokebox Dart – I’ve a number of Gibson darts on hand.

4. Shawplan Lasorglaze Flush Glazing

5. Etched Spectacle Plate Grills (Mainly Trains), rather glad I’ve ordered these seen as they are winding down.

6. Etched Brake Rodding (Mainly Trains)

7. Sanding Gear -RT Models Etch

That covers the general areas where I’m aiming to improve my model. The long term aim is to have a fleet of Tank Engines to work on Trawsfynydd which, although are of the same class, will incorporate differences . These may be as simple as early or late crest, to riveted tanks or with Top Feed/Without Top Feed.

Below is what I’m intending to practice on, an old mainline body, kindly given to me by Nick (dilbert of Modellers United).


I mentioned earlier the detailing wasn’t a big problem, however my current issue, is simply a lack of confidence…..probably at it’s lowest point for some time. I’ve been put off these modifications on the basis of worrying what to do if it all goes wrong. It’s at this point I would like to thank Paul Marshall-Potter, Ian Fleming, Andy Cooper and Nick Davies for giving me the push I needed and generally being supportive. Also thanks to Alan Buttler for giving me useful tips on improving Bachmann’s 57XX. If you haven’t already, check out his blog Oswestry Works.

Finally, Mr George Dent’s extremely useful book, ‘Detailing and Modifying Ready-to-Run Locomotives in 00 Gauge’. I’ve had it for a number of years, but it’s sat on my shelf unread, I wish I had looked sooner, as it addresses my area of concern (namely removing moulded plastic).

This month I’m tied up with finishing a weathering commission, a gig and operating at two exhibitions (Mini Grantham at Warley and Gresley Beat at Wakefield)…but once they are out of the way….I will be cracking on with my Panniers.

Enough of this armchair modelling! 😉


6 thoughts on “Pannier Planning – It’s in the detail…

  1. Go for it. At the end of the day Bachmann Panniers are fairly inexpensive so even a major problem could be fixed with a fresh bodyshell off eBay or wherever.

    Apologies if I’ve missed it, but did you decide on gauge? I know this is a gap fill layout, but the discreet motive power fleet would be an excellent opportunity to try EM, given that all the other work, track etc, would be the same in either gauge.

    • There is a logic to going EM, however I’m sticking with OO. I don’t really want to go down the route or replacing wheels on all stock, plus Trawsfynydd is going to lead to further things, and eventually my LNER ECML layout, and I foresee if I go EM now, then I wouldn’t go back to OO, which would make the cost’s on Thirsk very high (lined apple green wheels).

      I’m happy with OO finescale. 🙂

  2. Hi Tom, glad I could be of help and thanks for the blog plug 🙂 I was in a similar place confidence wise before I started work on 5726, it was George Dents book and PMP’s posts which gave me the nudge I needed. I think your subtly varied pannier fleet will look great and you’ve inspired me to leave illustrator and sketchup for a while a dons one actual modelling 🙂 good luck

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